Coming Alongside You Since 1931

Coming Alongside You Since 1931

As we have been for over 89 years, Penny Insurance is committed to you and is open for business via phone and/or email in order to support our clients when they need us most. In response to client needs, at this time, our carrier partners are making the following adjustments to their business practices:

  • Providing billing support for customers affected by the Coronavirus
  • Extensions on monthly payments without cancellation or fees
  • Various digital options through online billing and customer portals

In addition to shifting with the current economic landscape, what sets us apart as an independent agency is our mission to provide the very best insurance protection at the most affordable price. Our goal is to go above and beyond for our clients and businesses who are in need of assistance.

During this time, we are available if you need to adjust or re-assess your current business coverage. We’ve been able to successfully help businesses lower their insurance premiums during this time by assessing adjusted sales and payroll figures, easing financial demands and providing a peace of mind.

As a family-operated insurance agency, we understand that sometimes, life just happens. That’s why we are here right when you need us. Our team of licensed, specialized insurance agents will work for you and with you, with insurance plans and service you can trust. We are privileged to call Western North Carolina home and have been a mainstay in this community for nearly a century.

If you have any questions, or simply want to explore your insurance coverage options, please give us a call at 828-692-9171. We are here for you.

Flood 101: Action Steps During a Flood for Policy Holders

Flood 101: Action Steps During a Flood for Policy Holders

Flooding is one of the most difficult natural disasters to face and a significant trauma for property owners. “One of the biggest issues why people don’t carry flood insurance is apathy. I think many people think it won’t happen to them and are willing to take the risk,” says Loretta Worters, a spokeswoman for the Insurance Information Institute.

The average annual cost of flood insurance is minuscule compared to the average cost of a flooding claim when disaster strikes. Whether you own property near the coast and are exposed to the risk of coastal flooding, or your home is inland where severe rainstorms can cause damage, anyone can become a victim of flooding. 

If you’re dealing with this home disaster, discerning what to do so you can resume your “normal life” again can seem daunting. If stress is flooding your life and you’re overwhelmed, here are some easy steps to follow to help you gain clarity on what to do next.

1. Verify Your Policy

Firstly, call your insurance agency. Verify that you have flood insurance, as standard homeowner’s insurance policies don’t include flood insurance. At Penny Insurance Agency, we make it a daily priority to maintain open, honest communication with those we insure. For almost a century, our trusted agents have been assisting people with their insurance needs. Once you’ve gained a better understanding of next steps from your insurance agent and gotten the ball rolling on filing a claim, you can focus on more tangible steps to help the process.

2. Take Photos

If it is safe to do so, document everything you can that suffered damage on your property. This includes water levels (if the flooding is still there), any major or minor water damage, photos of any ruined valuable items, and key structures of the home. There may even be damage that is difficult to see and pinpoint, so the more photos, the better. This will help ease the process of filing a claim if you have proper and substantial documentation. 

3. Cleanup Safely 

After you’ve contacted your insurance agency and properly documented the damage, you can begin the cleanup process. If it is safe to do, while following the instructions of local authorities, scan the perimeter for any obvious threats to your safety and then begin opening doors and windows to allow airflow. It is better to be safe than sorry, so always assume that flood water is polluted and unsafe, unless told otherwise. Work with a trusted contractor and professionals when assessing what to do next in cleanup and beginning to rebuild. 

4. Prevent and Prepare

It may take some time to fully recover from a terrible flooding experience. Once you’re back on your feet, it’s important to consider what you can do to prevent the same damage and prepare for the future. Flood-proof your property as much as you can doing things like elevating the foundation of your home or vacation property, building in flood openings to the foundation, using water-resistant flooring in your home, and building with water-resistant insulation in the walls. In addition, verify that your homeowner’s insurance covers flooding, so that you’re protected in the future. Never just assume that your policy covers this– in fact, most homeowner’s insurance policies do not include flood insurance as part of the policy. 

We understand how to help those facing critical situations and have been aiding people in navigating the waters of insurance for almost 90 years. Penny Insurance Agency is licensed in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Texas to better serve your unique property needs. For honest and personal service from one of our agents, give us a call or stop by one of our two office locations in Hendersonville, NC or Tryon NC. We would be happy to speak with you about your insurance needs. 

https://www.lawnstarter.com/blog/water/south-carolina-flood-insurance-data/https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/recovering-from-floodhttps://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-flood-insurance

Securing Your Vacation Home While You’re Away

Securing Your Vacation Home While You’re Away

Nothing can tarnish your peace of mind like wondering if your property is secure while you’re away. At Penny Insurance Agency, our goal is to protect the life you have built for yourself and your loved ones while giving you a peace of mind. If the life you’ve built allows you to travel frequently, or occupy multiple properties, be sure to implement these steps to optimally secure your home while you’re away. 

1. Check Your Insurance Policy

Talk with your insurance agency and verify that all of your specific needs for your property are taken care of. With a robust policy and an agency you can trust, your worries will fade and you’ll be able to truly enjoy your time away. Be specific when speaking with your insurance agents, and ask thorough questions. Penny Insurance is licensed in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Texas to better serve our client’s unique vacation home needs. 

2. Install Security Systems

Do your research and select the best security system for your property. A large majority of modern security systems allow you to check-in on your home remotely and frequently from the convenience of your smartphone, and even detect activity around your place and give you notifications. Even the seemingly minute detail of having a security system sign in your yard or a visible camera can also deflect intruders. Investing in a solid security system is worth it, especially for vacation homes. 

3. Make Your Home Appear Occupied 

Whether it’s befriending nearby neighbors and asking them to check on your property, hiring a landscaper to trim the bushes, or installing light timers in your home, make it a conscious effort to make your property look occupied. Simple efforts like these can make a big difference and give the appearance that you’ve only left for a few hours and will be returning soon. Also, remember to transfer your mail to your main residence, as a pile of mail can indicate vacancy. 

4. Check Your Locks 

This may seem obvious, but simple efforts like double-checking that windows, doors, and other entry points are shut and properly locked is a common mistake when heading off on vacation. It’s tedious, but checking each and every entry point can save you a lot of headache later on down the road. If you haven’t already, add stronger locks where you can and more of them. Move any obviously expensive items that might intrigue intruders away from the windows and secure them in safes. Another rookie mistake is leaving a key to the house under the welcome mat, or under an item in the front yard. Intruders know to look in these common spots, so it’s best to just keep an extra key in your personal bag or give one to a trusted neighbor or friend. 

Implementing these simple steps for better home security will keep you at ease and allow you to enjoy the life you have built. If you would like to learn more about vacation home insurance, our agents at Penny Insurance would love to speak with you and customize a plan for your unique needs. Give us a call or fill out our online contact form. 

Sources:

https://www.iii.org/article/insuring-a-vacation-home

https://reolink.com/top-3-clever-tips-to-secure-vacation-second-home/

Action Steps for Property Damage in Winter

Action Steps for Property Damage in Winter

How to Prevent Property Damage in Winter and Action Steps to Take When It Occurs

Did you know that homeowner’s insurance claims related to wind or hail damage are the most common homeowner insurance claims? According to the Insurance Information Institute (III) “About one in 20 insured homes have a claim each year, about one in 50 insured homes have a property damage claim caused by water damage or freezing each year, and homeowners’ claims related to wind or hail are the most frequent.”

Unfortunately, the statistics on the likelihood of property damage in the winter are not very promising. At Penny Insurance Agency, we want our clients to be as prepared and informed as possible. We’ve compiled some of the most common property damage incidents that occur in the winter with tips on how to prevent them and actions steps to take when property damage does occur.

1. Hail Damage

Many factors can play into the severity of roof damage during a hailstorm – wind speed, the size of the hailstones, the density of the hailstones, the quality of the roof materials, and natural barriers such as trees. If you want to set yourself up for success should this scenario occur, check your house for any damage immediately following a storm. Even seemingly insignificant damage can have a snowball effect and contribute to significant damage later down the road. If you’ve determined that there is damage that needs to be repaired, contact your insurance company and connect with an advocate who can you take you through the next steps in filing a claim and hiring a contractor to get the damage repaired.

2. Roof Damage from Tree Limbs or Snow

In addition to hail, tree limbs and snow are very prevalent causes of roof damage. Winter storms can wreak havoc on homes with intense wind blowing down limbs and snow weighing heavy on a roof. Snow can cause roofs to cave in, clog gutters and collapse decks. Tree limbs can cause power outages, cut through house siding and more. As with hail damage, the best way to position yourself for the best possible outcome is to keep a close eye on your property because small damages can intensify later on. If you see obvious damage to your property, don’t hesitate to document the damage with photos and mark it with chalk to make filing an insurance claim and the repairing the damage easier for everyone involved.

3. Frozen Pipes

Water damage from a frozen pipe that has burst can cause immense damage to a home. Busted pipes can ruin sewage systems, cause flooding, and more. To prevent pipes from freezing and bursting, ensure that your house temperature is at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit, know the location of your home’s main water shutoff switch in case you need to use it, and frequently allow your faucets to slowly drip to keep the water in the pipes flowing. If you suspect that your pipes have frozen, take immediate action to unthaw them before they burst. Call a plumber immediately if you need assistance unthawing your pipes. This preventative measure could save you money and hassle later on. If the worst-case scenario happens and the pipes do burst, immediately cut off the water supply and be proactive about drying any water damage. Contact your insurance provider right away to file a claim in order to ultimately repair your home.

From the day we were founded, Penny Insurance Agency has been building trust with clients and providing comprehensive homeowners insurance. If you would like more information about homeowner’s insurance, or if you are facing property damage to your home, give us a call. We’re here to help.

https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-homeowners-and-renters-insurance

https://nrc4help.com/roof-hail-damage/

https://www.insurance.com/home-and-renters-insurance/natural-disasters/winter-homeowners-insurance-claims.htm

https://www.iii.org/article/tips-surviving-severe-cold-weather

Why Equine Insurance is Critical During the Winter

Why Equine Insurance is Critical During the Winter

Call Your Vet, Not Your Bank: Why Equine Insurance is Critical During the Winter

At Penny Insurance Agency, we understand your passion for horses, and we understand the time and monetary investments you make each day for your passion. For this reason, we offer customizable equine insurance policies from an independent, local agency you can trust. Horse ownership is a huge responsibility, and we’re here to provide you with what you need to keep your horse happy and healthy.

Because horses are well… horses… equine insurance is critical for your peace of mind when unplanned incidents occur. Especially in the winter, horses are much more susceptible to injuries and illnesses, which can result in serious stress and serious damage to your bank account if you’re not protected. Since winter isn’t melting away anytime soon, we’ve compiled some common risks your horse is exposed to during these months and why equine insurance is critical now more than ever.

1. Sliding on Bad Conditions With ice, sleet, and snow on the radar this winter, your horse is especially exposed to slipping, tripping, spraining, fracturing, or breaking an ankle or leg. It is very easy for horses to lose their footing in bad conditions and become lame in the blink of an eye. Horses will naturally move around outside during the cold months to keep warm and regulate their body temperature, so unfortunately, this mishap isn’t uncommon. Not only this, but snow can get packed into your horses’ hooves and damage their tissue, causing a separate injury to tend to.

2. Stiff Joints and Muscles, Causing Injuries Despite many horse owner’s best efforts, a large majority of horses experience stiff joints and muscles during the colder months of the year, which leads to a higher risk of injuries. With limited hours of daylight and harsh conditions outdoors, horses are often not ridden as frequently and can start to lose muscle strength and flexibility. This can result in stiff muscles that are easy to strain and pull. In addition, many older horses even experience arthritis and joint pain due to limited mobility, which can lead to serious complications.

3. Dehydration and Sickness Horses are accustomed to eating fresh grass during the warmer seasons, which provides significant hydration for them, but it’s difficult to come by fresh grass during the winter. 1 It is extremely important for horses to stay hydrated in the winter, because dehydration can trigger colic, the leading cause of equine deaths each year. In fact, 10% of the United States horse population suffers from colic each year. 2 When winter strikes and your horse’s main diet is dry food like grain and hay, you may need to be even more proactive about keeping your horse hydrated and ensuring that they have clean, accessible water at a lukewarm temperature. Furthermore, horses can catch colds and coughs just like humans, and they are more susceptible to respiratory complications when cooped up in barns without proper ventilation. It may seem beneficial to close barn doors in harsh conditions, but this can actually cause more damage than good, limiting natural airflow.

Although it is unpleasant to think about, accidents happen, especially with horses in the winter. We’re here to ease your worries with equine insurance policies customized to your needs, so that when accidents do happen, you can just call your vet, not your bank.

If you would like more information about our equine insurance coverage solutions, please give us a call at 828-692-9171 (Hendersonville, NC) or 828-859-6700 (Tryon, NC). We’re here for you (and your horse.)

https://dressagetoday.com/horse-health-/debunking-winter-horse-care-myths
https://www.horseillustrated.com/horse-news-equine-colic-research/amp
https://broadstoneequine.com/blog/winter-safety
https://www.petplan.com.au/blog/horse/winter-health-problems-for-horses/

Cyber Monday: Best Practices for Safe Online Shopping

Cyber Monday: Best Practices for Safe Online Shopping

If you are like eight out of ten Americans 1 , then you know and participate in the convenience of online shopping. While online shopping is easy, budget-friendly, and a “shopping trip” can be accomplished from the comfort of your couch, it is important to be aware of the increased risks of online shopping, especially during the holiday season. Cyber Monday is the biggest online shopping day of the year in the United States 2 , consistently breaking records year after year, and hackers capitalize on this fact.

Did you know that last year there were 6,000 scams disguised as Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales? 3 In addition, in 2017, there was a 57.5% increase in attempted cyber-attacks on Cyber Monday 4 compared to other days of the year, and this statistic is only projected to grow.

During the time window from Black Friday until the end of the year, online shoppers will be
particularly exposed to phishing scams, unsecure malware, pop-ups and unsecure websites that
could result in serious, long-term implications. At Penny Insurance Agency, it is our
responsibility to ensure our clients are secure from cyber-attacks and equipped with the
knowledge of how to avoid them. With Cyber Monday quickly approaching, we’ve gathered
some helpful practices to stay safe and maintain your cyber hygiene to steer clear of hackers
this holiday season.

Change Bank Account Passwords After Online Shopping

We can’t emphasize this enough– change your passwords. If you plan to shop online during Cyber Monday, remember to change your online bank account passwords on Giving Tuesday. Hackers are working non-stop during this vulnerable time window to steal sensitive information, and one of the easiest ways to prevent being hacked is to simply change your passwords. That’s not all though… make sure to never re-use old passwords and that your passwords are different on each account and are difficult strength passwords. In case you were wondering, your name or birthday just won’t cut it.

Always Use Two-Factor Identification/Authentication

Two-factor Identification/authentication is an easy safety net you can utilize to protect your information. Setting up two-factor authentication doubles your protection and makes it twice as hard for hackers to steal your information. Be sure to activate two-factor authentication all on your accounts and devices before online shopping this Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Never Click on Pop-Up Links

The world of digital advertising is continuing to grow with digital ads becoming more interactive
and “following” consumers around with relevant products. While this is convenient and
trending, be wary of pop-up ads. Cyber attackers are becoming increasingly more sophisticated
in their tactics and can disguise themselves to appear safe and reputable. To prevent this, just
go directly to sites manually instead of clicking your way there through a pop-up.

Be Cautious of Free Wi-fi

One of the most common ways hackers inch their way into your devices to steal information is through Wi-Fi. Be very careful with where you connect to Wi-Fi, especially free Wi-Fi, and keep an eye out for any suspicious activity after connecting to a Wi-Fi source. If you’re able, use your own personal data on your mobile device instead of connecting to Wi-Fi as one way to prevent this type of phishing scam.

Always Check the Site Before Making Purchases

One of the simplest ways to prevent your credit card number from being stolen is to double- check your browser for the letters “https” before the website URL. Simply double-click on the URL tab at the top of your browser and check for “https” before submitting any purchases. Getting in the habit of verifying web browsers is an easy and simple practice for good cyber hygiene.

In light of Black Friday and Cyber Monday– the busiest online shopping day of the year– it is imperative to practice proper cyber hygiene habits to avoid common mistakes that can lead to serious damage to your private information. These tips do not just apply to individuals, though. Business owners need to be especially aware and proactive as well, because data breaches can cost them their reputation, legal fees, and more.

If you need assistance protecting your information or would like to learn more, contact us today by filling out our contact form or call us directly. We’re here to help.

1. https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2016/12/19/online-shopping-and-e-commerce/
2. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181126005829/en/Adobe-Analytics-Data-Shows-Cyber-Monday-Broke
3. https://www.wired.com/story/black-friday-scams/
4. https://www.carbonblack.com/2018-holiday-threat-report/

Tips for a Safe Thanksgiving

Tips for a Safe Thanksgiving

Tips for a Safe and Successful Thanksgiving 

Thanksgiving is the “kick off” of the holiday season, full of gatherings with family and friends, eating delicious home-cooked food, and a highlight for serious shoppers on Black Friday. Unfortunately, it is also one of the seasons with the highest accidents. With Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and the holidays right around the corner, we’ve compiled the most common risks that occur during this time of year and how to steer clear liability disasters this season.

Keep an Eye on the Turkey

Did you know that turkeys are the top cause of house fires? To add to this staggering statistic, Thanksgiving is the peak day for cooking fires, more than any other day of the year. U.S. fire departments fought 1,570 home cooking fires in 2016 alone on Thanksgiving Day.¹ Home cooking fires are also the leading cause of fire deaths during this season. Make sure to keep an eye on your turkey as well as other dishes. It may be easy for food dishes to be put on the “backburner” when friends and family are visiting, but be sure to check your food periodically to reduce the risk of a house fire. For your peace of mind, verify that your home insurance policy has thorough coverage so that you can fully enjoy your holiday and feast.

Limit Liability Mishaps

Between tipsy guests, steaming dishes, red-hot stovetops, and backyard football games, there are many things that could cause a liability mishap. If a guest gets burned from hot dishes, breaks an arm from a backyard football game, or causes harm to himself or others from drinking too much, you could be held responsible for legal fees, medical fees, and more. Limit the exposure to potential risks and be sure to also keep an eye on younger guests, as children can also be involved or be the cause of common mishaps. Protect yourself from a liability catastrophe by ensuring you have exhaustive liability insurance in case a mishap happens at your home.²  

Drive Safely 

Thanksgiving weekend is one of the craziest weekends on the road throughout the entire year. In fact, car accidents spike 20% on Thanksgiving Day and 34% on Black Friday.³  Granted, most accidents during this weekend occur in parking lots because of the holiday shopping rush, but they can still happen out on the roads and be serious or fatal. If you’re braving the rush and shopping during this time, be extra careful on the roads and make sure your car insurance is comprehensive in case an accident was to happen. In addition, if you are traveling to visit friends or family, be wary of increased traffic and plan your routes ahead of time. For extra protection and peace of mind, insure your trip with one of our agents today. 

Keep these potential mishaps in mind this Thanksgiving season. If you’re unsure of what your insurance policies cover, we are happy to help. Give us a call or fill out our contact form contact form today. From our family to yours, we wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving. 

 

  1. https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Seasonal-fire-causes/Thanksgiving
  2. https://radlawfirm.com/common-thanksgiving-accidents-avoid/
  3. http://money.com/money/4127035/car-accidents-thanksgiving-black-friday/
Safety Tips for Teen Drivers

Safety Tips for Teen Drivers

Safety Tips for Teen Drivers

While it may be frightening to unleash your freshly-licensed teen onto the roads, there are many proactive ways to ensure their safety and your peace of mind. At Penny Insurance Agency, we consider our clients family, and we want to look out for yours. Share these tips with your teen driver as they venture out onto the roads this fall, especially with increased holiday traffic over the next couple of months.

Slow Down

In serious car accidents caused by teen drivers, 21% were caused by speeding.1 Research shows that teens are much more likely to speed and spin a vehicle out of control than adults are. Speed dramatically increases the risks of causing accidents, which can also be a liability disaster. Teens driving 40 mph in a 30 mph zone may think they’re “only” going 10 mph over the posted speed limit. But that “small” increase in speed translates to a 78 percent increase in collision energy – that’s nearly double.”2 It’s just not worth it. 

Seatbelts Save Lives 


The saying “click it or ticket” is a catchy way to remember to always wear a seatbelt. At least 46% of teen drivers and passengers who died in passenger vehicle crashes in 2017 were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. Research shows that seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about half.”3 Given the most current research, wearing a seatbelt is the easiest way to decrease fatal car accidents. Remind your teen that wearing their seatbelt can cut injuries or death risks in half. 

Don’t Drive Distracted

Texting, music, and extra passengers can all result in distracted driving– the fifth leading cause of teen car accidents.4 Encourage your teen to put their phone in the backseat before starting the car to limit the temptation to check their phone, text, or play music from their device. Limit the number of passengers your teen can drive with to keep the peer pressure and distraction to a minimum. Small distractions may seem insignificant, but the smallest distraction can result in significant damage in a split second. 

Encourage a Driving Course 

Research shows that inexperience is the leading cause of teen car accidents.5 Driver training courses teach teens critical skills and improve reaction times. Many training courses are fun for teens, allowing them to really learn the ins and outs of vehicle mechanics and allowing them to practice key skills. Skills learned in driving courses are much more in-depth than what is learned during the state-officiated driving test. These courses can even help you receive better rates on insurance policies. “Research suggests that more comprehensive GDL systems are associated with 26% to 41% reductions in fatal crashes and 16% to 22% reductions in overall crashes among 16-year-old drivers. Parents can help their teen be safer by knowing and following their state’s GDL laws.”6

Share these tips with your teen driver for easy ways to prevent car accidents– the leading cause of death for U.S. teens– and for ways to be proactive as the roads become busier with holiday traffic. As always, if you are looking for the best insurance policies out there contact us or call us directly today.

 

  1. ps://www.teendriversource.org/teen-crash-risks-prevention/rules-of-the-road/speeding
  2. https://www.teendriversource.org/teen-crash-risks-prevention/rules-of-the-road/speeding
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/teen_drivers/teendrivers_factsheet.html
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/teen_drivers/teendrivers_factsheet.html
  5. https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/teen_drivers/teendrivers_factsheet.html
  6. https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/teen_drivers/teendrivers_factsheet.html
The Real Scare of Halloween

The Real Scare of Halloween

The Real Scare of Halloween: Why You Need Homeowners Insurance with Liability

When considering a homeowners’ insurance policy, it is imperative to consider personal and family liability protection as part of the policy. Accidents happen, and you need to be proactive about your coverage before it’s too late. With Halloween being right around the corner and increased liability and property damage risks, not having a comprehensive insurance policy can be scarier than Halloween and here’s why:

Trick-or-Treaters on Your Property

According to the National Retail Federation, 69% of Americans plan to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween to celebrate. If you have your porch lights on, you are welcoming people onto your property, and this can pose a number of risks. While giving out candy and complimenting kids on their costumes is a fun tradition, if a trick-or-treater hurts themselves on your property, you could face serious consequences such as legal fees, medical fees, and more. Some common liability incidents that occur each year include, but are not limited to: trick-or-treaters tripping on homeowners’ sidewalks or falling because of bulky costumes, children having allergic reactions to candy or other sweet treats, and pets getting spooked by the unfamiliar visitors and causing harm. Hand out candy worry-free this year knowing you’re covered if a mishap occurs.

Accidents at Parties

Pumpkin carving contests and alcohol are popular elements at any Halloween party, but are also accident-prone elements. Sharp tools used to carve pumpkins and burning candles to light up jack-o’-lanterns are obvious risks for party participants, but did you know that you could be held responsible and face serious consequences if one of your alcohol-infused guests causes harm to someone else’s property or to another person? In addition, without liability insurance, you could face serious consequences if an underaged party guest gets a hold of alcohol. Host Halloween parties with confidence knowing you won’t have to face haunting repercussions.

Spooky Season Pranks

It is undeniable that the number of pranks and damage to personal property spike during spooky season. In fact, there are 17% more insurance claims for theft and vandalism on Halloween versus any other day of the year. If your personal property is not protected, you could be fronting the costs of fixing car vandalism, repairing damage to your home, replacing smashed mailboxes, and more. In addition, if you plan on decorating your home or dressing up to surprise trick-or-treaters, be sure to keep it reasonable as motion-sensored decorations and scary costumes can easily frighten children, causing them to run away or hurt themselves and suffer from physical or mental distress at your expense. It’s spooky out there– make sure you’re covered.

Consider these risks this season and don’t let a liability mishap haunt you. Make sure your homeowner’s insurance policy includes liability coverage to protect you and your family. We want you to have an enjoyable fall season with a peace of mind knowing that if something happens, we’ve got you covered. If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, don’t call the Ghostbusters, call Penny Insurance Agency! We’re here to help.

https://nrf.com/insights/holiday-and-seasonal-trends/halloween/halloween-data-center

https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/business/Halloween-Spike-in-Home-Auto-Insurance-Claims-498670681.html

https://www.ghostbusters.com/
https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2016/10/31/430898.htm https://www.esurance.com/info/homeowners/family-liability-protection-and-homeowners-insurance https://thenitschegroup.com/halloween-insurance-risks/#.Xam3_udKjUo

National Cyber Security Awareness Month: Stay Cyber Smart 

National Cyber Security Awareness Month: Stay Cyber Smart 

In today’s digital landscape, an informed awareness of cyber-security threats and best practices for guarding personal information and data for businesses is absolutely essential for protecting your hard-earned assets. With countless avenues in which critical information is shared via the internet, cyber-attacks and data breaches are on the rise more than ever before.  “…A report issued by the Director of National Intelligence named cyber-attacks as the principal national security threat facing our country—above terrorism, espionage and weapons of mass destruction.”² In light of October being National Cyber Security Awareness month (NCSAM), we’ve compiled some key things to keep in mind to safeguard your information from hackers:

Be Aware

It may seem obvious, but creating a habit of regularly checking the privacy settings on various accounts and devices and consistently monitoring online accounts can catch suspicious activity early and reduce potential damage.³ Be aware of the various tactics hackers use such as phishing, home Wi-Fi hacking, and any third-party individuals with access to your information.

Use Strong Verification

Updating passwords on a consistent basis is a must for cyber-security awareness, as well as using multi-step verification, when possible.4 Strong passwords and hard-to-crack authentication layers can make you less vulnerable to hackers.5 

Monitor Purchases

With the world of online banking and shopping, it is now easier than ever for hackers to steal personal and financial information. Guard yourself by keeping a keen eye on purchases and immediately reporting any suspicious account activity to your bank.

Your Information is Valuable– Insure It!

Safeguard your valuable information for personal or business accounts with Cyber Liability Insurance to ensure protection in the case of cyber-attacks. Cyber Liability Insurance covers issues resulting from personal information, such as your social security number, usernames, or bank account information being stolen and can also cover the extreme costs that may result from your business’ critical data being compromised. Insurance is for the things you value most in life, so why not insure your information? 

At Penny Insurance Agency, we’re here to keep you and your information protected for your peace of mind. To speak with an advisor today about how we can help keep your information secure, please fill out our contact form or call us directly. 

 

[1] CyberSmart: Understanding & Managing Cyber Threats to High Net Worth Individuals. Copyright 2015

[2] https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/Unclassified_2015_ATA_SFR_-_SASC_FINAL.pdf]

[3] https://staysafeonline.org/cybersecure-business/protect/

[4] https://staysafeonline.org/resource/learn-basics-online-safety-national-cyber-security-awareness-month-infographic/

[5] https://staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/identity-theft-fraud-cybercrime/identity-theft-fraud/

About National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM)

National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) was created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online. Now in its 15th year, NCSAM was co-founded and is co-led by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance, the nation’s leading nonprofit public-private partnership promoting the safe and secure use of the internet and digital privacy. Recognized annually in October, NCSAM involves the participation of a multitude of industry leaders ‒ mobilizing individuals, small and medium-sized businesses, nonprofits, academia, multinational corporations and governments. Encouraging digital citizens around the globe to STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™, NCSAM is harnessing the collective impact of its programs and resources to increase awareness about today’s ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape. Visit the NCSAM media room: staysafeonline.org/about-us/news/media-room/.